Reculver: guidebooks

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Reculver © David Gill

The Saxon Shore fort of Reculver in Kent is in the care of English Heritage. Parts of the Roman fort has been eroded into the sea. In the 7th century the fort became the site for the foundation of an Anglo-Saxon minster. The site was placed in Site Guardianship in 1950.

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Stuart E. Rigold wrote a short guide to the site in 1971. This followed the format of the DOE concertina card guides (see also Hardknott Roman fort; Hetty Pegler’s Tump). There are 6 columns of text (the fort, the minster) on one side (with a small plan of the fort and church), a series of images including a plan of the 7th-15th century ecclesiastical structures.

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(2012)

The present English Heritage guide by Tony Wilmott covers the two Saxon Shore forts in Kent, Reculver and Richborough.

Nunney Castle: Guidebook

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1957 (6th impress. with amendments, 1967)

Nunney Castle in Somerset was placed in State Guardianship in 1926. The guidebook was prepared by Stuart Rigold (1957); it remained in print until 1977. The guidebook takes the usual format of History followed by Description with a single plan in text. There are a number of black and white illustrations including a drawing of the back by S. and N. Buck.

Eynsford Castle: Guidebook

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1964 (3rd impress. with amendments 1965)

Eynford Castle in Kent was placed in State Guardianship in 1948. The ruins were consolidated and Stuart Rigold prepared a guidebook (1964). This consisted of the standard format of History followed by Description. There were black and white photographs with a fold-out plan in the back.

The design is based on the seal of William de Eynsford III in Christ Church, Canterbury.

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1964 (7th impress. 1974)

This guidebook was amended in 1974, and appeared as the English Heritage guide for the site in 1984. One of the changes made was the layout with bold sub-headings for different parts of the castle.

Benedictine Abbeys in State Care

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Bury St Edmunds Abbey © David Gill

Battle Abbey, Sussex. The Abbey was founded on the site of William I’s victory at the battle of Hastings. It seems likely that it was founded at some point after 1070, and the choir of the new abbey was consecrated in 1076. The completed abbey was consecrated in February 1094. The first four monks came from the abbey of Marmoutier Abbey in the Loire. [EH]

Canterbury, St Augustine’s Abbey, Kent. The first abbey was established in 598 as part of Augustine’s mission to England. Abbot Scotland, a monk from Mont St Michel, was appointed in 1070. [EH]

Boxgrove Priory, West Sussex. Founded c. 1117 from abbey of Lessay in Normandy. [EH]

Westminster Abbey. The Pyx Chamber is in State Guardianship. [EH]

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1955 (12th impression 1977)

 

East Anglia

Bury St Edmunds Abbey, Suffolk. The monastery was the resting place of the body of king Edmund killed in 903. The Benedictine abbey was found in 1020. [EH]

Colchester, St John’s Abbey, Essex. The abbey was founded in 1095 to the south of the town. The 15th century gatehouse is in State Guardianship. [EH]

Isleham Priory, Cambridgeshire. The priory was founded c. 1100. The priory church is in State Guardianship. [EH]

Denny Abbey, Cambridgeshire. Founded in 1159, and passed to the Knights Templars in 1170. [EH]

Binham Priory, Norfolk. The priory was founded in 1091 from St Alban’s Abbey in Hertfordshire. [EH]

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Binham Priory, undercroft (with dorter above) and warming room beyond © David Gill

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The South-West

Muchelney Abbey, Somerset. [EH] [Historic England]

Abbotsbury Abbey, Dorset. The abbey was founded in 1044. [EH]

Wales

Ewenny Priory, Glamorgan. The Benedictine priory was founded by Maurice de Londres in 1141. It was founded from the abbey of St Peter in Gloucester that had links with the earlier church at Ewenny established 1116-26. [Cadw]

The North-East and Yorkshire

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Whitby Abbey © David Gill

Whitby Abbey, Yorkshire. The first monastery at Whitby was established by Abbess Hild in 657 at the prompting of king Oswy of Northumbria. The Synod of Whitby was held in 664. The monastery was probably destroyed during the Viking raids c. 867. In the years after the Norman conquest the monastery was established, probably c. 1078, by Reinfrid, from the Benedictine monastery of Evesham. The church was constructed c. 1090. [EH]

Jarrow Priory, Tyne and Wear. Founded from Durham between 1075-83. [EH]

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Finchale Priory © David Gill

Finchale Priory, Durham. The origins lie in the hermitage of St Godric that continued until 1196 when it became a priory linked to Durham Cathedral. [EH]

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Lindisfarne © David Gill

Lindisfarne Priory, Northumberland. The first monastery was founded in 635. It was destroyed by a Viking raid in 793. In 1069 St Cuthbert’s remains were brought to the island from Durham  to protect them during the Norman raids of the north. After 1083 Benedictine monks linked to Durham arrived at the older monastery site on Holy Island. The church was probably constructed from the 1120s. [EH]

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Tynemouth Priory © David Gill

Tynemouth Priory, Tyne and Wear. The first monastery at Tynemouth was probably established in the late 8th century, part of the kingdom of Northumbria. It was important as the burial site of king Osred II of Northumbria. The monastery was probably destroyed in 875. A church on the site was destroyed during the early years of the Norman conquest, and the location given to the monks of Jarrow some time after 1074. A new church was built in 1083. Some after 1090 the monastery was given to the Benedictine abbey of St Albans in Hertfordshire by Robert de Mowbray, earl of Northumberland. [EH]

North-West

Wetheral Priory, Cumbria. founded in the early 12th century. [EH]

Scotland

Dunfermline Abbey, Fife. Founded c. 1070, perhaps as the earliest Benedictine community in Scotland. The abbey was established in 1128. [HES]

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Iona © David Gill

Iona Abbey. The Benedictine community was established in 1200. [HES]

 

 

Vindolanda: Roman milestone

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Vindolanda, Roman milestone © David Gill

The Roman milestone on the Stanegate near Vindolanda was placed in State Guardianship (‘Chesterholm Roman Milestone’). The fort was place in State Guardianship in 1939 and also had Ministry signs.

A second milestone lies one Roman mile to the west. It originally carried the inscription, bon[o] reipublic[ae] nato (RIB 2308).

The 1959 Regional Guide notes: ‘The earliest occupation dates from the time of Agricola whose road, the Stanegate, runs past the north gate of the fort and retains, near the burn, a Roman milestone; the base of another (not in the Ministry’s guardianship) stands a Roman mile to the west.’

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Vindolanda, Roman milestone © David Gill

I have a photograph of the milestone from the late 1970s with some of the bushes encroaching on its space and obscuring the line of the road.

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Vindolanda, Roman milestone © David Gill

Vindolanda: The Ministry of Works and the Roman fort

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Vindolanda, Roman Fort © David Gill

The Roman fort at Vindolanda was purchased by Eric Birley in the sale of the Clayton estate in 1929. Birley placed the fort itself into state care in November 1939. The Vindolanda Trust was formed in 1970 and the fort is now managed as part of the larger site including the vicus.

It is thought that the first fort was erected c. AD 85.

The Ministry of Works sign appears to be located at the west entrance to the fort.

Donnington Castle

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Donnington Castle © David Gill

Donnington Castle lies to the north of Newbury in Berkshire and is in the care of English Heritage. The monumental gateway forms part of the 14th century development. During the Civil War the castle was seized by the Royalists, and finally surrendered to the Parliamentarian forces in 1646 when all but the gatehouse was demolished.

The castle was placed in State Guardianship in 1946. Margaret Wood wrote the MPBW guide in 1964 [WorldCat]. Wood also wrote the Ministry guides to Old Soar Manor (1950), Burton Agnes Old Manor House (1956), and Christchurch Castle (1956).